A recent attempt at distributing Ramadan charity boxes (contains basic food like rice, sugar, wheat, etc.) proved to me that there are increasingly two groups in Jordan. The first is those who are out of touch, and the second is those who are out of sight. The relationship between the two is a direct one, as one increases the same change occurs in the other one.
The incident happened in Al-Ghor (Jordan Valley). I had called someone I know there to ask him to assist with distributing the charity boxes ( (BTW for lack of better word!!!) to poor families in the area. I indicated to him that the van with the goods will be there around 2 p.m . He then asked me to make it after Iftar instead. He said if we do it before iftar we are going to be inundated with people. In my head, I was skeptical to the extent that I secretly accused him of exaggerating because he was being lazy. I persisted and arranged for the van to be there in the afternoon. Sure enough, I got a call from the team going down there telling me that the van is swamped! People were hovering all over it wanting to get some of the food being distributed. We postponed this until after iftar as was advised earlier.
The above episode left me in shock. This is not the Jordan I know. This might happen in Africa, but not in my Jordan!
The more I thought of it the more I realized that my reaction of being shocked bothered me on two counts:
The first, am I so out of touch that I find such incidents absolutely shocking?
The second, how many of those are there who no longer can afford to be out of sight and have suddenly abandoned the dignity we have for so long attached to the poor of our country. We have always sought misguided comfort in the fact that the poor in Jordan are “mastooreen”, and I assure you the ones swamped the van are so. However when hunger strikes, no rules will ever apply.
My message is for those (me) who are out of touch, wake up! You are running out of excuses. For those who are out of sight, stand up! Your rights have had enough abuses.
The gist of my gig: hiding the sun with our finger might conceal it but it surely does not shield us from its heat!!!